A favorite snacking and party nut is recognized each year on November 23rd during National Cashew Day.
The cashew nut is a seed harvested from the cashew tree. The tree originated in Northeastern Brazil. However, it is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew apples and nuts.
With leaves arranged spirally and a leathery texture, the evergreen cashew tree grows as tall as 32 feet high and often has an irregularly shaped trunk. The flowers are small, starting out pale green then turning reddish, with each one having five slender, acute petals.
The largest cashew tree in the world covers about 81,000 sq. ft. and is located in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
- The cashew tree has a fruit called the “cashew apple.” Its fragile skin makes it unsuitable for transport.
- Latin Americans make a fruit drink from the cashew apple.
- The Cashew causes fewer allergic reactions than other nuts or peanuts.
- Native to northeast Brazil, the Portuguese took the cashew plant to Goa, India, between 1560 and 1565. From Goa, it spread throughout Southeast Asia and, eventually, Africa.
- We often see peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and other nuts sold in the shell. Due to the toxic nature of the cashew nut’s shell, this is not possible.
- Speaking of the shell, the Cashew is not a true nut. They do not develop a hard wall around the seed as hazelnuts or walnuts do. Cashews instead have a lining around the seed that is filled with a caustic fluid.
- This nut is an excellent source of antioxidants.
- It’s also a source of dietary trace minerals: copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous.
- Cashew oil is a dark yellow oil for cooking, or salad dressing pressed from cashew nuts.
- Many parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.
There are so many ways to enjoy this fabulous nut. How will you be celebrating?
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCashewDay
Cashews inspire several ways to celebrate. You can begin by breaking out the cookbook. Whether you make cookies, bars or another baked good, you won’t go wrong. You can also top your salads and soups with cashews. But that’s only the beginning. May we suggest these other ideas to help you celebrate the day?
- Bundle up cashews to give as gifts for the holidays. Friends and family will thank you. These make great Christmas gifts too.
- Top your pasta dishes with chopped cashews. They will add texture and crunch to your meal.
- Roast cashews with a variety of seasonings. You can make them savory or sweet, whichever you prefer.
- Add chopped cashews to your ice cream sundae. Drizzle a little caramel on top and you will think you’re dreaming.
- If traditional dairy products try cashew milk. If like my niece you love ice cream, try So Brand Ice cream. She love chocolate cookies and cream.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy cashews? Use #NationalCashewDay to post on social media.